Read our posts about therapy

Should You Have Therapy?

Should You Have Therapy?

When therapists are asked to list their areas of expertise for inclusion in Find a Therapist services, they sometimes find they have checked over 20 boxes listing every imaginable problem from sex to suicide, anxiety to anorexia. But none of that really helps the client decide the first question: should I seek therapy? So – how do you know if it's for you? The first thing to consider is whether you have spotted an emotional pattern of long duration. You don’t need to wait for a therapist to tell that something is repeating itself. Are you thinking ‘here I go again’?...
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Why Philippa Perry Loves This Therapist Directory

Why Philippa Perry Loves This Therapist Directory

I am really delighted that Louise Chunn has set up the Welldoing.org directory and this is why. Up until now, it has been hard to know how to find a suitable therapist and whether you get a good match with one is far too much down to luck. I’m going to share some case studies with you: Good outcomes in therapy should not be so dependent upon chance encounters. An acquaintance told me that her partner had gone to the doctor for an erectile dysfunction problem.  The doctor referred this 48-year old man to a female counsellor who looked about 22; he felt too embarrassed...
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Broken Heart: How To Cope With Bereavement

Broken Heart: How To Cope With Bereavement

We all know that loss is an inevitable consequence of making an attachment. No one gets out of here alive, as it were. Yet the severing of this attachment is literally heart breaking. A recent study by St Georges, University of London found that a person’s risk of heart attack or stroke is highest in the month after bereavement and this declines slowly over the following year. This is because grief can lead to a range of adverse physiological responses, such as changes in blood clotting, blood pressure, stress hormone levels and heart rate control – all of which are...
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Talking to a Sex Therapist

Talking to a Sex Therapist

I talk about sex a lot; as a sex therapist it is my job to ask questions.  I ask my male and female clients and couples to tell me very intimate details about their lives.  I ask about their childhoods, their parents, their siblings, their relationships and, of course, I ask them about sex. But I do need to constantly keep myself in check and always try to put myself in “my client’s shoes”, wondering what it must be like to be asked the most intimate questions and share sexual thoughts, feelings and practices with a stranger (well, almost a stranger). It has been said...
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Compassion: Why Being Gentle to Yourself is the Foundation of happiness

Compassion: Why Being Gentle to Yourself is the Foundation of happiness

It took me a very long time to work out the difference between being kind to myself and actually being kind to myself. I used to think a long hot bath, a yoga class or a new pair of shoes would suffice to ease a low patch or quieten my noisy inner critic. These gestures may have helped a bit, but they remained just that – actions representing a kindness rather than actions that also felt kind to myself when I did them. I could practise yoga for an hour and still feel bad. I might even feel rubbish at yoga and leave a class feeling even worse. Learning to be truly kind,...
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Talking to a Friend Isn't the Same as Therapy

Talking to a Friend Isn't the Same as Therapy

Guardian journalist Zoe Williams has known integrative psychotherapist Julia Bueno since they were teenagers. But they have never before spoken about Julia’s profession - how it works, why she does it, and whether Zoe is sceptical about the whole process. Welldoing put them together for a truth-telling session. ZOE: My prejudice about therapy is that it's every day, it really gets into your life, it goes on for eight years, the therapist doesn't say very much and you talk yourself into an answer . JULIA: Therapy isn't like that. You are thinking about 'old...
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Getting to Know Your Genitals

Getting to Know Your Genitals

As a psychosexual therapist I often deliver sexuality and sexual education workshops to the wider public, and I have delivered many training days to male, female and mixed gender groups.  The groups consist of people of all ages - ranging from as young as 16, to over 70 years old – which gives me insight into a wide array of thoughts and viewpoints. One of the topics which surfaces frequently, is the different relationship men and women have with their genitals.  Of course, there is a big difference between the sexes ... in males, genitals are external and boys from...
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Is Coaching Simply Therapy-Lite?

Is Coaching Simply Therapy-Lite?

Coaching, counselling, and psychotherapy arguably exist on a continuum;  Julia Bueno has given a good explanation of the differences in her article Who does what? Talking therapies explained on this site.  Compared to the more emotional focus of psychotherapy and counselling, coaching is typically addressed at specific issues in a person’s life which may be perceived as dilemmas, conflicts, or simply “being stuck”.  These issues very often appear at first sight to be mostly practical in nature, but a little investigation frequently reveals deeper truths.  It would certainly...
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Knitting Therapy

Knitting Therapy

The feel of soft yarn between your fingers, the rhythmic click-click-click of knitting needles, the satisfaction of watching your work growing inch by inch while at the the same time your breathing slows, your body relaxes and the cares of the day slip away with every stitch. No wonder knitting is so popular. People knit for four main reasons - relaxation, stress relief, therapeutic qualities and in order to be productive. The rise of this old-fashioned hobby over the last few years has very little to do with thrift - after all, you can buy a scarf on the high street...
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Self-soothing: Coping with Stress

Self-soothing: Coping with Stress

Sometimes it’s the simple things that can be the most effective. Connecting to our senses promotes wellbeing and relaxation through our sight, sound, smell, and touch. Learning how to manage the everyday and extraordinary stresses of life is a vital skill – one that everyone can develop simply and easily with minimal expense. While there is little that can be done to take away the risk factor, stress - including traumatic events - is increasingly part of everyone’s experiences. While you may not be able to avoid it, you can do something to mitigate the risks and reduce...
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